Thursday, November 30, 2017

2017 - Day 334/31 - Thursday...

I cannot believe this is the LAST day of November, but it is. Here is something else, and this is no secret to anyone that has ever been in one of my classes, or anyone that I have ever been IN a class with. I have acute testing anxiety. I think too hard about tests, and often do not really read the question, and frequently go with my second guess rather than my first response, when I know my initial instincts are usually correct. I was in two classes today, and I helped with writing the classes AND with writing the test questions, and I was totally freaked out when it came time for taking the two tests on the subject content. After we reviewed the tests, I am totally confident that I did not fail the tests, and that I will (once again) go forward, but it is interesting to me that I have this anxiety, on top of all my other anxieties. It makes me wonder about my childhood (which I generally consider a good one), but something had to have happened back then that caused me to have all these neuroses. What in the hell did someone say or do to me that caused this. Did a third grade teacher yell at me for something that is lodged way back in the far recesses of my little pea-brain that flares up just at the thought of multiple choice answers? I dunno, but I wish I could get over it. I have plenty of other anxieties that command a good deal of my time, and I just don't need this aggravation.

And this is a photo of me and Candy in the class, being excellent, studious and obedient attendees. Sat there the whole time and paid attention, did not cause any crap.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, ANXIETY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

2017 - Day 333/32 - Wednesday...

I was honored to participate in an ABoR Foundation Forum this morning, the topic being 'When Disaster Strikes'. As part of the panel, my area of concern was about landlord/tenant relations after a disaster occurs. In Texas, we have disasters on occasion, and they seem to be happening with more frequency lately; tornadoes, wild fires, and hurricanes to name a few recent challenges. The panel also consisted of mortgage representatives, attorneys, title insurers, insurance agents and property appraisers. Our moderator was a real estate broker from Houston, and she was able to provide first hand information about before, during and after a disaster happens that affects housing. All across the United States this year, we have experienced hurricanes, tornadoes and devastating wild fires. We need to know how to react to these instances, and what we can do to prepare and what we need to do if we are affected.

It was a great Forum, and I think it kept the attention of the attendees. the room was full, and I was happy to serve my association in some small part.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, DISASTERS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

2017 - Day 332/33 - Tuesday...

Today was the first day of the ABoR/Habitat for Humanity Holiday Blitz Build. When we started arriving at the site early this morning, there was nothing there but a slab. There were about 30 REALTOR® volunteers for the first day, along with the folks from Habitat and AmeriCorps (I think), to tell us non-mechanically or engineeringly minded individuals which end of the hammer to pick up. And by the end of the day, we had the interior and exterior walls up (they were prefabbed off-site) and the roof trusses up and it was actually looking like a house. Our little company closed for the day so we could participate, and it was really a good time. This is (we think but are not sure) the fifth Blitz Build for the Austin Board of REALTORS®, and we have participated in each of them. It is a good thing to do, and you get to meet a lot of like-minded colleague volunteers. Thanks to everyone for participating. There are lots more photos on Facebook...

And now, I am going to the big blue chair, thank you very much.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BLITZING, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, November 27, 2017

2017 - Day 331/34 - Monday...

Cyber Monday. Honestly, I believe I have received about 75 e-mails from Amazon (aren't they all from Amazon?) telling me about the one time offers that I am passing by. I admit, I did buy ONE THING on-line today, and I did get a 20% discount, but I just lucked out on that one. It is something I have been pondering for a long time, and it just happened to be the Monday after Thanksgiving, so I guess I have bought in to the whole thing. Honestly, I do not have any aversions to on-line shopping, it is just that, if Jody or I need something, we generally go somewhere and buy it. We need it, we buy it. We don't (generally) get into the frenzied shopping panic. Okay, let me clarify that; JODY does not get into the frenzied shopping panic. I have been known to be swayed by Madison Avenue, but the older I get, the less swayable I have become, and I am proud of that.

Taste is all in the eye (or eyes) of the beholders. This is the last of the pie from Thanksgiving, and I expected that it would be history after tonight, but we are taking a pass on the pie. Maybe tomorrow. But I have to tell you, it was (and remains) one damn good pie.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, FRENZIES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

2017 - Day 330/35 - Sunday...

Even though I kept adding things to the To Done list, I got everything crossed off EXCEPT killing wasps and trying on my tuxedo for the coming weekend. I think the tux will still fit, even though I have gained a good bit of weight. What's the worst that can happen? Four or five hours of total discomfort? I think the tux has an expand waist band, so that will probably be okay. I think the tux is in town, so I will get to that tomorrow. The wasps, on the other hand, need to be addressed pretty quickly. If the weather would be more like normal it would not be such an issue, but we are expecting  warmer than normal temperatures for the next couple weeks at least.

In addition to everything else, I had to work on the water trough float for the cattle. even though the float is a pretty straight forward device, the way it is connected is another story. I expected I would need to make some early American engineering triumphs, but as it turned out, the new float was able to be connected just like the old float was, and there are no leaks, according to the water meter. Good job myself!

I did get all the Christmas lights finished, and even though it is not apparent from photos, I think they are pretty cool up by the front gate. That is about all the decorating we do here, although we used to go all out with the decorations. We are getting old and even more set in our ways. There are a couple things I may break out and set up in the house, we shall see. As it is, our tradition (okay, my tradition) is to turn the lights on on Thanksgiving day and leave them on until January 1st.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, LIGHTS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

2017 - Day 329/36 - Saturday...

I got a couple more things half-way crossed off my To Done list today, but one of the issues is, I keep adding things to the list. Or I get distracted (SQUIRREL) and go off and do something else when I was intending to finish something I started and then...what did I come up here into the front barn for? Oh well, things are progressing nicely. I still have to clean the chicken coop and feed the cattle. Neither one of those things is particularly time consuming, but there are lots of pieces and parts to both of them. For one thing, I have to outsmart chickens AND cattle when I am doing those two things. Chickens always want to be part of whatever it is I am doing (refer back to the game we like to play, Cricket, Chicken, Lawn Tractor) and they are just damn nosey. They always have to be in the middle of everything. Cattle on the other hand, and just wanting to get to the hay that I am putting out, so I have to try and time things so I am putting hay in one pasture while they are in another pasture, and by the time they get to the pasture where the hay is, I am taking hay to the pasture they just vacated. Generally, I am smarter than a fifth grade chicken and a fourth grade cow. So far.

I keep finding more and more blooms around, and I keep planting more and more plants and bulbs. If all goes according to plan, it should be pretty nice come spring and all the seasons for the next several years. Grey Gardens has nothing on JBAcres!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, IRIS, Kindness, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, November 24, 2017

2017 - Day 328/37 - Friday...

Repeat after me; today is Friday, today is Friday, today is Friday. And as a rule, I like Friday's. Friday's are generally the start of the weekend, and this Friday was extra special because it was the middle of a nice, long weekend. I actually got seven and two-halves of the items on my To Done list crossed off. I got part of the bulbs planted and part of the watering done. I still need to finish those two items, cut grass, clean the chicken coop and take hay to the cattle. And I have two days to get those things accomplished. I don't think I will get everything done tomorrow, but I might. But I think the prudent thing to do is let it all stretch out over the next two days. I wouldn't want to pull a muscle or anything like that.

The flora still makes me wonder. We have not had a freeze yet, and the Iris and other blooming plants are doing their best NOT to pay attention to the calendar. These little Iris started blooming the other day, and they are just lovely. I raised the canopy on one of the trees in the front yard, trimmed back a lot of dead pieces of an antique rose bush, and (as I said in the above paragraph), planted some bulbs. I have another days worth of planting in store, and after that, I will be done with bulbs for this year. Unless I happen to stop at Home Depot and spot something I think I cannot live without.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CHORES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

2017 - Day 327/38 - Thanksgiving Day...

It was a beautiful day on the edge of nowhere, here in central Texas. It did not get as cold overnight as had been predicted, and all the plants have been transferred back outside. Tomorrow will be a watering day and a plants some more bulbs day. I have a long list of things to get accomplished over this long Holiday weekend, and it seems I was busy all day (except for the napping parts), and I only got one thing on my list completed. There is still time, and I just don't want to risk burn-out.

We had a lovely dinner, just the two of us, with all the Thanksgiving foods you would expect. We ate about 2:30 and then for dinner, we had apple pie. While sitting out in the yard with the dogs earlier this afternoon, I noticed the blooms on one of the roses that was really very pretty, and that is the photo for this days journal entry. I did get most of the lights replaced on the fence up by the road, I just have one more string to install and that will be it. It is not like me to quit with one more string of lights to put up, but I did, so there.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, ROSES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

2017 - Day 326/39 - Wednesday...

This is serious stuff. I am not sure of the tone of this journal entry. I think it was thought out to be kind of humorous (we all make fun of the things we are not really comfortable with), but the more I thought about it during the day, the more serious the topic became. With all the emphasis on the inappropriate actions of political figures and celebrities in the new lately, I am not sure what kind of stand I am supposed to take. Nothing in the journal entry is to be construed as making light of the circumstances many women in the world have faced historically. Nothing. But it does give me pause as to whether or not this new found consciousness will bring about a social evolution, and how quickly might we all conform to another 'new normal'. This morning, Margaret and her daughter Elizabeth (fka Lizard Breath) came by the office, and it was the first time we had all been together in about a year. Hugs all around...but I am not sure that hugging continues to be socially acceptable. What if something slips, what if I get too close, what if... Again, nothing in this journal post is in any way intended to diminish what hundreds of thousands of women have experienced, but I am just wanting to make sure I know all the new rules.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, HUGGING, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

2017 - Day 325/40 - Tuesday...

Interestingly, we have lived here on the edge of nowhere for over nine years (maybe ten?), and we are really never surprised at what we see here and there. We are not surprised, I don't think anyone is surprised, whatever we see is just accepted. I am pretty sure no one expected us to install wind turbines out here shortly after we moved in, and no one really cared. They were an oddity, but no one cared. The turbines are sometimes sought out to be looked at and pointed at. We also have longhorn cattle, and I think that is thought of as an extravagance out here. There is really no use for longhorns. They can be taken to the auction barn, but they are not as common as the beef cattle that are more common out here. So, it is not surprising (really) to see the occasional emu or llama, or a sow the size of an old Studebaker. I just happened to have a good photo op this morning of the llama, and there you have it. We will sometimes go months without seeing the llama. Even longer between sightings of the emu. The Studebaker sow has not been seen for a while, but we know it is still there.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, LLAMAS, Kindnesses, Whirled Pe
as, FUN!

Monday, November 20, 2017

2017 - Day 324/41 - Monday...

I think a lot of people have already started their Thanksgiving Holiday, and that is perfectly okay with me. There was traffic (of course there was) this morning, but I do not really recall stopping in the expressway. Maybe, but it was not memorable, and there were no wrecks that I noticed. I got into the office and did some power-real-estate and cleared a few things off my desk. I have had a couple (maybe three) brief cases over the years, but I keep going back to a nicely hand tooled leather one that I bought about 15 or more years ago. It is actually a woman's case, but no one mentioned that to me when I bought it. One of the handles was coming un-sewn and I had used some Scotch® tape to keep it from getting worse. This morning, I cleaned out the brief case and put all my stuff in a card board box, and took the case to the shoe repair place to be fixed. I am currently living out of the card board box, but I will get my brief case back tomorrow.

Tonight's photo is of Barney the cat, taken yesterday after I got home from the Empty Bowl Project. He is a shy cat, and we have never been able to get too close to him. He has his jobs around the house, and our jobs are to keep him in food. All parties to the transaction are satisfied with the arrangement.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BARNEY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

2017 - Day 323/42 - Sunday...

For this year's Empty Bowl Project, I got a promotion; no longer the 'TRASH MAN', I have been upgraded to 'Sanitation Engineer'. I didn't get a raise, but I did get more responsibility. It was a great day, and there were people in line that have remembered me as TRASH MAN for several years, most of them liked it, but one of them in particular is not a fan. Oh well, it is what it is. It was a beautiful day in central Texas. When I got to the Project, it was 59 degrees, sunny and little wind. The line was probably a couple blocks long, and I got my trash bags and started working. Some people cannot comprehend the words 'no liquids', and there were very few real engineers in the crowd, but we did the best we could. Eventually I had the trash bag inside two other trash bags, but there were still leaks. It did get a little bit messy. I had lots of time though, to meet up and get back acquainted with my friend Kelly, who does the potting exhibitions during the Project. Kelly and I met when I first started taking pottery classes, many, MANY years ago. It was great getting to sit with her and laugh and laugh and LAUGH.

There were several people that I ran into from years ago as well; bike riders from the very start of my AIDS ride and fundraising days, and other friends that I have not seen in years.

A good time was had by all, and I think this years project is another success in feeding those in central Texas that are less fortunate than many of us.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, TRASH, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

2017 - Day 322/43 - Saturday...

The day did not go quite as I had planned it. I did manage to move some hay bales, and took two bales out to the cattle. That is pretty much when the disruption began. There was a key missing from one of my lock boxes, and I had to go into Austin several hours earlier than I had planned. I was able to get a couple dozen bulbs planted, got to the property and found the missing key, and then took a short nap. Tonight was the Preview Party for the 21st Annual Empty Bowl Project, and we just made it home a few minutes ago. Tomorrow will be the actual Project, and I will head into Austin at about 9 o'clock in the morning.

And yes, it is past our bedtimes.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, UP LATE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, November 17, 2017

2017 - Day 321/44 - Friday...

I am not sure if this guy had bacon for breakfast AND for lunch, or if his dog is just overly affectionate. I am going to go with bacon though. I pulled up to a traffic light at about 12:45 this afternoon, and he was next to me. I watched the dog lick on him for about thirty seconds, and I decided this would be a great photo. I rolled down my window, and as I did, the dog got into the back seat. I hollered out to the guy if I could take a picture of that, and he said, if she wants to come back up here it is okay with him. So, from the next lane over, I encouraged the dog to give him some more doggie kisses, and she did. I took about five or six photos, and I think this one best captured the tongue action.

The things we used to see when we didn't have a gun are the things we now see when we all have a camera.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, DOGGIE KISSES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

2017 - Day 320/45 - Thursday...

I was still not totally sure what day it was today, although I did manage to remember that it was TBT and I posted a photo on Facebook of me and Jody in the late 90's when we were in China. That was back when traveling was fun and it really was a kinder, gentler time. It was really an interesting trip. We first went to Japan, then on to Beijing. We saw homeless people in China, walked on the Great Wall, took a boat (it was actually a former floating Holiday Inn) down the Yangtze for several days, before the Three Gorges Dam was finished. Really a good trip.

The photo for this post is just proof that no one (and no thing) knows what to expect, weather wise. It was in the upper 80's today, this lovely Iris is blooming. We are expecting a cool down over the weekend, and highs next week in the 70's.

Can't wait.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, IRIS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

2017 - Day 319/46 - Wednesday...

All day long today I thought it was Thursday. I am really not wishing my life away, I just thought it was Thursday. I was reminded several times that it was only Wednesday, but I just a minute ago thought it was Thursday again. After this, the real Thursday is going to be a big disappointment. The photo that I am including in this journal entry has nothing to do with anything that was done today, since it was actually taken on Monday night as I was driving home. No real point being made with the photo, I just kind of thought it was interesting, so I took it. I thought there were some nice contrasts between the lights and the darkness.


Otherwise, another good day. Lots of accomplishments, lots of stuff cleaned off my desk, lots of good ideas being investigated, lots of lots.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, LOTS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2017 - Day 318/47 - Tuesday...

I had to leave a little bit early today, I was heading to a neighboring association (Highland Lakes) to take a Professional Standards class. Professional Standards (Ethics) Committee members have to take  the class annually to maintain the committee membership. It was a great class, a great group of people that were attending the class, and it was great to see the sunrise that was just breaking when I was heading out the door.

I hope you enjoy!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, SUNRISES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, November 13, 2017

2017 - Day 317/48 - Monday...

Wowza, wowza, wowza! Today was kind of like old times, lots of meetings and lots of accomplishments and lots of good things happening. I got into the office about 8:30 this morning and got a full days worth of work done before I left at 9:30 to attend a Texas Real Estate Commission meeting. I like to get down into the weeds of how things work (not like toasters and garbage disposals), but how our agencies work and how the legislative issues go back and forth and how rules are put forth. All that kind of stuff. Unfortunately, I had to leave the TREC meeting at 2 o'clock and head of to another meeting, and then it was back to the office for a while before I attended a Campaign Kick-Off for Donna Howard. Good information was shared, and it is always a good feeling to mix and mingle with like-minded individuals, working together to make things better.

Tomorrow I will be in a class all day, so I will be heading off to the Highland Lakes Board early in the morning.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, WOWZAS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

2017 - Day 316/49 - Sunday...

REALTORS® worry about copyright issues and intellectual properties, among all the other things I worry about. I had to go into Austin this morning to show property, and on the way back, I was listening to public radio. There was a story (probably Ira Glass- This American Life) about a free-living crested macaque named Naruto, that (allegedly) grabbed someones camera and took a couple selfies. I do not know the whole story, but this is what I took away: The guy that owned the camera published the photos, and did not give credit or cash to Naruto, the owner of the intellectual property (the photos). I get it that, if you give your camera to someone and the other someone composed and took the photo, the person taking the photo owns the intellectual property, the photo. In this case, the other person happened to be a monkey, and after two years of court battles, there has been a settlement. It was an interesting program. PETA fighting for Naruto's rights, saying that he is highly intelligent, but I am not sure if he 'consciously' decided to take a photo or if he was just pushing someone else buttons. I also took away that this is just the start of establishing legal rights for animals. It was an interesting story, but it was made more interesting when I visited the PETA website and downloaded the photo for this journal entry.

Side Note: A witness to the whole thing swears that Naruto did not really take the photo, that the photo was actually taken by one of Naruto's fellow macaque's, a female. Which could be the beginning of a whole other story.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, MONKEY-SELFIES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

2017 - Day 315/50 - Saturday...

Do you know the difference between city eggs and country eggs? That is really code for store bought eggs and eggs that you go outside and gather from the chicken coop or wherever else you might find that the girls have decided to lay an egg. I believe that the main (possibly only) difference is in the richness of the color of the yolk. There have been blind taste tests conducted where participants could not tell the difference between store bought eggs and farm fresh eggs. That fact is disputed by every single person I have retold the findings of fact to. Everyone believes they can tell a taste difference between farm eggs and city eggs, but the scientists (maybe the same ones that profess the climate is changing caused by the effects of civilization) report that no one can really tell any difference in taste between the two differently produced eggs. I think they are probably accurate. I think if the test subjects actually saw the eggs they were tasting, they might realize that the darker, richer yolked eggs were farm eggs and that could have skewed the results.

Who knows.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, YOLKS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, November 10, 2017

2017 - Day 314/51 - Friday...

I love morning glories. I think next year I am going to find a nice place that is not in full sun and plant some more morning glories. I have an early meeting at the board this morning, and made it to the office about 12:30. We were interviewing state legislative candidates prior to the primary that will be held in February. Time is not standing still, time is going on and there is nothing we can do about it. Bt I digress. When I got to the office, there was some work that needed to be cleared from my desk, and then Kay and Tosalyn and I headed off to an estate sale. We try to find nearby estate sales just to go rummage and see what we can find. This old cottage in southeast Austin had a fence line of beautiful morning glories and I stopped to document the blooms before entering the sale. One of the sale staff came out to find out what I was doing...I was nearly arrested for taking pictures of the flowers. She said that was okay, and turned around. I stopped her a queried what exactly she thought I was doing to the glories, was there a trend in this particular neighborhood of glory assault with a deadly iPhone or something? She replied that she thought I was stealing some of the plants. I have never heard of that, but it did make for on-going conversation while I pondered my purchases; a brooch, a small oil painting and a bag of antique (maybe just old) marbles. I did break into "Alice's Restaurant" while surveying the treasures, but I don't think too many people got the reference.

All in all, not a bad day...

Deeds, Actions, Changes, GLORIES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

2017 - Day 313/52 - Thursday...

Do you recall that, just the other day I was writing about how I enjoyed the cacophony and the noise and the immediacy of large cities? I still have it in my head that Austin is a small town, but alas, it is the eleventh largest city in the United States. And traveling down Spicewood Springs Road, across from one of the fire stations does not give one much room to avoid the noise of a fire truck when it decides to move past where you were stopped for a traffic signal. I of course, took it as an opportunity to take the photo of the day, and document the situation (experience) for posterity.

But I digress. As you may be able to discern from the photo, it remained a grey, overcast and chilly day. As far as I know, there was no rain throughout the day, but yesterday and overnight, we has 0.28". Nothing to shout from the roof tops, but something. That makes the total for the month (so far) to just over a half-inch.

I will probably water over the weekend, when the temperatures are supposed to be in the 70s, and it is supposed to be beautiful central Texas weather. And that is not normal.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, NOISE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

2017 - Day 312/53 - Wednesday...

Today was a good day, all things considered. Consider that it was cold this morning. Consider that it is still cold. Consider that it is dark at about 5:30 in the afternoon. Consider that I took the girls to the beautiful parlor this morning on my way to the office. Consider that I ran two or three errands before I got to the office and after I hit the Austin City Limits. Consider that I had an 11 o'clock appointment, and the other agent called at 10:30 and said they were there already. Consider that before I left for the appointment, I put ten or twelve things from the office into the car so I could take those things to storage. Consider that I left my appointment, I went to the storage place, unloaded my car and could not locate the one thing I really wanted to take BACK to the office. Consider that I got a Cheeseburger Combo at Sandy's on Barton Springs Road. Consider that I ate my burger at my desk, while I answered phone calls and e-mails. Consider that considering all this, I consider myself to be a lucky guy, and that I had a pretty darned good day, all things considered.

And the girl dogs are exhausted after their ordeal.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CONSIDERATIONS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

2017 - Day 311/54 - Tuesday...

I really, REALLY like urban living, even though we live at the edge of nowhere. I like the hustle and bustle, and I really like the noise of sirens and gun shots...but there is one thing that I miss in the urban environment, and that is sunrises and sunsets. They views from my hotel room and the high rise buildings I visited while I was in Chicago were absolutely beautiful. There were clouds and there were city scapes, but I did not see a sunrise or a sunset. I saw pigeons and lots of landscape plants (I saw more cabbage looking things in flower beds than I have EVER seen), but I did not see the moon or any stars. SO, I kind of have the best of everything; I get to see the cities when I travel for my work and volunteer efforts, and then when I am at home, I get to see nature and chickens and cattle and fields and stuff like that.

I am the luckiest man in the world.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, SUNRISES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, November 6, 2017

2017 - Day 310/55 - Monday...

Back home, yippee. After the concert last night, and getting back to the hotel relatively late (for me), the morning was calm and there was no rushing. I don't know what time I woke up (and I don't know what time it is right now), but I got packed, watched the news, showered and went downstairs and got a pumpkin muffin for breakfast. Candy came over to the hotel and we left for the airport at 10:30, made it to the airport and thru security and made it to the gate at about 11:30. No issues with the flight, and I slept thru most of it. Today (the first Monday in November) was Wurstfest in Walburg, so I stopped on the way home and got us two dinners. We have participated every year since we have been on the edge of nowhere, and this may be out ninth year. Traffic was kind of reminiscent of Austin, and the line of cars down CR 1105 was backed up for a good two miles. 45 minutes to get through the line, but it is good to be home.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, WURTFEST, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

2017 - Day 309/56 - Sunday...

Today was a three pyramid kind of day. Allegedly there was an extra hour of sleep, but I may have slept through it. Not sure. First thing this morning, I went to a breakfast sponsored by the Austin Board of REALTORS® in conjunction with the NAR Annual Convention, which happens to be in Chicago this year. Breakfast was great, and there was a nice chance to network with those colleagues that were attending the NAR conference. Left there and gathered up a group and we went to 'the Bean'. I know it is all touristy stuff, but that is okay with me. Steve, Erica and Casey and I went to the Bean, and now we have our own selfies of the Bean. I will share one or two of the photos later. There are lots of interesting things around the Bean, and one of them is a large tower of glass blocks that broadcast images...again, photos to follow later. THEN, we went to the Hancock Tower and went up to the 94th floor, and enjoyed the views of the city. Beautiful. Casey and I went to a part of the observation point that sort of 'cantilevers' out at a 30 degree you are leaning out over the side of the tower at a thirty degree angle. I had my doubts about doing it, but I did it, and I can cross that 'pyramid moment' off my list.

Regional Caucuses were at 4 p.m., then we had a nice dinner, and then on to the John Fogerty concert at the convention center. GREAT! I was flashing back to the basement of the house I grew up in in Michigan. A lot of fun, good music and a bunch of old (and young) fogies having a great time.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, PYRAMIDS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

2017 - Day 308/57 - Saturday...

Today was a really good day. It started off casually, and by casually I mean that I stayed in the bed until after 8 o'clock. When I am out of town, I generally do not sleep well the first night and then I catch up after that. And I sleep with the television on all night long. Occasionally, I wake up irritated by the noise and I just turn the volume down I don't turn the tv off. But this morning, I stayed in the bed pretty late, not bothered by the television because the cable went out. There was no signal, which was just fine. I am considering turning the tv off this evening and sleeping with the drapes open because the night time lights on the buildings around me are really interesting, and I could probably stare out the window for hours looking at everything and nothing at the same time.

I went to lunch with my friend Steve and our friend Brandy joined us. Walking back to the hotel we came across these two cops, and I always like taking photos with cops. They said no, they could not participate, city rule, so I was not able to get my selfie with them. Maybe next time.

After a nap, it was the General Session and Michael Phelps was the guest speaker. Very interesting stuff. I have never been that fond of Michael Phelps, but after hearing his interview with Elizabeth Mendenhall (the incoming NAR President), I may be softening a bit. He was genuine and interesting and that was good.

Then it was off to the Museum of Science and Industry for the RPAC appreciation event. That is a very interesting place, and it was a great event. The museum is fascinating, and you could wander around for days and still see things you had missed. Very cool.

My first meeting tomorrow is at 8:30 a.m., STANDARD TIME!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CHICAGO PD, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, November 3, 2017

2017 - Day 307/58 - Friday...

I still have not found it necessary to wear my overcoat that I was so freaked about how I would pack it and bring it with me to this conference in the frozen north places. It is not warm, but there is not/has not been that much wind and/or precipitation in this place, and for that it has all worked out okay. I have seen lots of people with puffy jackets and bundled up with scarves that would make you think it was sub-zero outside, but honestly, it has not been too bad. I think most of the folks walking around are over-reacting or maybe they were outside a lot longer than I was. The furthest I have walked while here is about 20 blocks, and maybe I just have enough fat on my body that I have not found it too uncomfortably cold. Maybe. In other news, I believe the weather is supposed to take a turn for the worse over the weekend, so maybe I have just 'spoke too soon', but we will see.

Otherwise, I spent a good portion of the day giving friends and colleagues a hand.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, HANDS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

2017 - Day 306/59 - Thursday...

It is still Thursday, I am pretty sure. It has been a long day. I remember when I was a little kid, it was awesome (in the literal sense of the word) that I could get onto a cylindrical metal tube and within a few hours, I could be in a totally different geographical area. I got up this morning, did some chores, went into the office and then headed off to the airport. Now I am in Chicago, attending the National Association of REALTORS® Annual Conference. A totally different environment than I am used to. Austin, Texas is the eleventh largest city in the United States, but it does not seem to me like a particularly big city, but I guess it is. I know we have big city problems, particularly traffic, but it is nothing like what I experienced from the airport to the hotel and then from the hotel to the restaurant where I had dinner and then back to the hotel. Big city, big sirens, big issues.

But I digress...

I have to go to sleep now, my first meeting is at 8:30 in the morning, and I still have to register at the convention center first.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, LIGHTS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

2017 - Day 305/60 - Wednesday...

I have always been a sucker for Madison Avenue and the power of suggestion. I have always been a believer in newer, bigger, brighter, and better. Improved just kind of puts me over the edge. Enhanced. Don't get me started. I'm all dope for New Formula. And if it has really disgusting and totally inappropriate packaging, I'll take two, please. However, this little piece of pretty was posted by my friend Sherri who lives closer to the Gulf Coast. She queried about what this plant was that was thriving in her yard (I hope it was Sherri), and the contest winners proclaimed it to be a Shower of Gold Thryallis. It was said to be deer resistant (good, but we have no deer out here on the edge of nowhere) and drought tolerant (good, we have droughts), and a over-achieving bloomer most of the year (good, we can use blooms all year long). So, I searched out and found three one gallon plants and set them out a while back. Maybe this past weekend. They all had buds on them, but the buds are opening on two of them, so that is a good sign. They will die back when we get a good frost, but they will be back in the spring, and I hope they will have time to settle in before they go dormant.


Deeds, Actions, Changes, THRYALLIS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!